The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

Free expression should be respected for everyone in the University community


Our founding fathers had a vision when founding this nation. It included rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At the University, we often say the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to free expression, but we refuse to guarantee this right equally to all our community's members.

During my first semester here, fall 2002, my family visited from Charlotte.

Upon leaving, they saw a parade for lesbian rights. Starting on campus, the women marched down Franklin Street, wearing little more than thongs and pasties. The community actively supported public nudity in this case, based on the freedom of expression, yet it refuses to acknowledge the rights for a young woman to have her nude photo taken, or a professor's right to use his property as he sees fit.

Neither the student, nor the professor, broke the law when participating in the Playboy photo shoot. It was not on campus, and therefore, it is none of our concern. Our Declaration of Independence lists grievances against the British, including the dictation of how property can and cannot be used.

As members of the University community, we should uphold the rights of all people, not just the ones we like. The professor had the right to make the decision to use his property as he did; similarly, the student had a right to chose how to use hers.

If the idea is to give people the right to free expression, we must give women the right to use their bodies as they see fit, whether to be objectified or not. We should not interfere with others' liberties. It truly is none of our business.

Matthew Neidich

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